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Life as a backend engineer at Griffin

Choosing a company to dedicate some of your life to can be really hard‍—‌backend engineer Alistair Bull explains why he chose Griffin.

Portrait of Alistair Bull
Alistair BullMonday 7 November 2022

The year is 2022. I’m entering my 6th year with a company and have just made the decision to move on to a new adventure. I’ve worked as an engineer in fintech since I graduated from university, so I’ve got some big decisions to make for my next job: Do I stay in the same industry? Do I try working for a startup? Where do I see myself spending the next part of my work life?

Culture matters just as much as tech

It turns out answering these questions was really hard! I knew I wanted to be closer to the end users and ideally work with a similar tech stack. Culture-wise my previous team had set a high bar, so wherever I picked had to show they were serious about who they chose to hire. I was really impressed when I saw the Griffin job spec was linked to extensive documentation about the company culture‍—‌from core values to how they expect you to handle remote working. After a challenging but fun interview process I successfully joined the team.

Role diversity is key to staying motivated and engaged

As a Backend Engineer at Griffin, my role is to help design, write and test our software as well as add really funny emojis to slack (okay, that might not be officially part of the job description but it’s very important). I work closely with other engineers as well as people from all over the business (think product, marketing etc.) to help bring our platform to life.

In the last four months, Griffin has provided a space for me to get stuck in and apply my talents as well as learn from some fantastic engineers, and also have lots of fun!

How Griffin approaches work and team work differently

Here are just some of the reasons being an engineer at Griffin has been (and continues to be) a rewarding experience:

  • Behind most of us is a deep-seated drive to solve problems. Griffin has some really interesting problems to solve. We’re trying to build something not many others are attempting, and we want to do it better. That is so cool!
  • It’s great to work with talented people, but it’s a joy to work with talented people who consistently bring their A-game. Griffin’s engineering team is filled with kind, skilful people who are brilliant at what they do.
  • When you speak to people at Griffin you’ll notice the underlying drive and enthusiasm they have, it’s really infectious and sometimes, that’s all you need to lift you out of a slump and get you thinking about a problem differently.
  • Making sure you maintain a good work/life balance is really encouraged, as is taking time off. Burnout doesn’t help anyone!
  • Sometimes an engineering team can feel completely isolated from the rest of the business. This couldn’t be further from the truth of how I’ve felt at Griffin. Context is in constant supply and other parts of the business happily give their time to answer your questions (however small!).
  • In a remote company it can be hard to build relationships with your colleagues who live and work all over the world, but there’s been a great amount of time and effort put aside for getting to know each other, whether that be face to face socials or slack-based fun (#random I’m looking at you).

At the moment, I’m working on our Verify product. Verify is our onboarding solution for fintechs who want to manage risks, automate KYC and KYB checks and onboard new customers quickly. My work is centered on adding features that will make our customers’ lives easier. It’s a really interesting space and being able to get fast feedback on new features is empowering.

When I was first asked to jot down a few sentences about my time here, I didn’t imagine I’d end up writing so much! It goes to show that after only a few months, Griffin has already left a big impact on me and definitely lived up to my expectations. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us and all the challenges it will bring.

Would I recommend Griffin as a great place for an engineer? Definitely!